When I called to schedule my first home inspection, the inspector offered some add-ons that are not included in the basic home inspection. I opted to schedule the extra tests after doing a little research.
The first is a test for Radon Gas, which is a radioactive gas. This is a big concern in Polk County Florida related to phosphate mining. It is naturally occurring and can get into a building through cracks or holes in the foundation and then trapped inside. It can also contaminate wells or water sources. Inhaling too much radon gas can cause lung cancer, and it is especially dangerous because it is inert, colorless, and odorless. It can only be detected with a test.
The next test I added is a test for lead paint. This test is especially important in homes that were built before 1978. Lakeland, Florida, has many cute, charming homes built at the turn of the last century especially around Lake Morton and Dixieland areas. Inhaling lead particles, even in small amounts, can cause severe mental and physical problems. Lead poisoning can also be fatal, with a higher risk to pregnant women and children under 6. A qualified EPA contractor should test for lead paint.
The last test I wanted was for toxic mold. There are many types of mold, but certain types generate mycotoxins, which is dangerous for both humans and animals. Toxic mold can cause neurological problems, respiratory problems, and even death. Although air conditioning helps in wet climates such as Florida (where I live), toxic mold can grow after a leak or situation where moisture has been undetected or unaddressed.
I know not everyone will opt for the extra tests, but I think it’s worth it for that peace of mind.